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welcomewiki 04-23-2009 08:23 PM

Implementing SAP HR
 
When trying to decide whether to choose mySAP, or an HR specific software package to replace their existing Human Resources and Payroll systems, most companies will have similar questions and sometimes even apprehensions in regards to choosing mySAP HR. The uneasiness associated with the idea of going through a mySAP HR implementation evolves primarily around three main factors: the length of the implementation, the costs associated with it and the resulting, often painful, organizational changes.

This article has a closer look at how organizations should approach a mySAP HR project, proposing solutions that should be adopted prior, during and after the implementation to ensure a smooth transition and hopefully dissipate some of the concerns HR managers still associate with the idea of implementing mySAP HR

welcomewiki 04-23-2009 08:24 PM

TIME FACTORS



Length of the Implementation


"How long will it take to implement mySAP HR"? …this question has been posed to me many times by potential customers during pre-sales demonstrations. The answer is that it depends on the type of organization, the size of the implementation and the effectiveness and experience of the consulting firm chosen. But it is reasonable to say that for a mid-sized organization with about 20.000 employees, the implementation of the mySAP HR modules, Personnel Administration, Time Management and some Organizational Management, from scoping to cut-over, should take between four to eight months - provided they have a team of experienced consultants and a fairly standard implementation. If you add Payroll to that, the project time frame should lie between six to nine months. Unfortunately, you may have heard about industry cases, where such implementations took over a year, clients grew increasingly frustrated with the external consultants and costs started to exceed far beyond the original budget. There are many reasons why implementations may take longer than planned and even though this is not the norm, it is important to pay attention, prior to project launch, to a number of factors that will ensure that the implementation is carried out smoothly within an acceptable and adequate time frame.


State your Project Goals and Objectives. The very first precaution companies should take before starting a mySAP HR implementation is to state clear Project goals and objectives. In order to state clear project objectives, organizations have to undergo a needs analysis and assessment. Some of these needs might include having a database providing instant access to employee information, including training performance, compensation and benefits; being able to run customized reports, a reduction of the duplication of data with the payroll department, increasing payroll efficiency and accuracy etc. Once these needs are established - with input from all parties involved, not just HR and Payroll, but also IT and Upper Management, - the project goals have to be stated. What do you expect the new system to do? Which functions are essential? Start by stating goals in the form of: e.g. the new HRIS and Payroll system must be able to produce accurate and on-time payroll data, it must be able to track employee absences etc. Of course, starting this process requires knowing your business - you have to do your homework before being able to establish project goals. If you don't know your business well enough, then you won't understand how mySAP or another ERP system can help you and you won't be able to ask the right questions when choosing an implementation partner. Having clear objectives will ensure that the implementation has a clear focus and expected outcome - these objectives will help design a project plan, ensure team members remain focused and constitute a control measure for project leaders.


Commitment to achieving the goals by all parties involved. The people involved in a mySAP HR implementation are the different departments concerned (HR and Payroll), their key users, the project team members, the IT department, Line Managers and Upper Management as well as external Consultants. It is vital that all these people, with different personal objectives and possible change management issues "buy into" the new mySAP HR system. Project sponsors and Line Managers have the critical task of choosing the right people and briefing them about the expected project outcome. Project goals have to be stressed continuously, some companies have even pinned them down in the project room as a steady reminder. Prior to project launch, project team members should be properly introduced and it is very helpful to organize team activities to lay the groundwork for a solid group dynamic. It is equally important to have Line manager's commitment to the project goals since they are the one's promoting it to their employees. Managers having objections and refusing to co-operate need to be identified in advance. Having a committed project team and motivated Line Managers will reduce strain on behalf of the employees, add value to the organization and ensure a smooth and on-time implementation.


Choosing the right implementation partner. As mentioned above, identifying needs helps HR and Payroll professionals eliminate the wrong implementation partner very quickly, freeing up time to give more careful attention to those that might make for a better fit. After clearly having reviewed what solutions the Consulting firm proposes to your project goals and objectives, there are a number of questions that should be asked to a potential implementation partner which include: · Within what time frame can this implementation be done? · What is your implementation strategy and methodology? · How much will this implementation cost us? · How much experience do you have with this type of implementation? · What are some of the issues you foresee and how can we deal with them efficiently? · How many consultants are required to perform the job and what is their background? · How much experience do you have with upgrade issues? ·



What is your availability for technical support after go-live? · What experience do you have with training required for HR and payroll and how long does it take? It is also useful to ask for references and ask these references questions to determine how the consultants have responded to any problems. Organizations facing a mySAP HR implementation need a business partner that will be there to support them. Another crucial question would be to ask specifically about support procedures. Having an implementation partner with technical excellence in mySAP HR rather than a consulting firm with a broad s**** set but lacking specific HR and Payroll knowledge will speed up the implementation time and save costs.
Choosing the right project team members. Choosing employees who will play an active part in the mySAP HR project is often tricky. Project sponsors and Line Managers want to have a motivated team - which requires picking dynamic people and filtering out those wary employees, afraid of change. At the same time project team members need to be familiar with the business processes, quick and eager learners, good team players and possessing both analytical and IT literacy s****s.



These employees need to be identified at an early stage and properly briefed about their new responsibilities. This process starts by familiarizing them with the corporate goals, the project goals and if available yet - the project plan. It is very useful to prepare project job descriptions so that there are no surprises and employees will have a clear understanding of the expectations. At this point, it is important to stress the fact that they won't be expected to perform their normal jobs on top of the mySAP project and give them a chance to express their concerns. Organizations need to ensure that project team members have an adequate replacement for their normal job and that they will return to this job after the project goes live. Many organizations have special rewards for employees performing well in their new roles, which is an additional motivation. Stressing the importance of supporting each other and taking quick decisions is equally critical. Having a motivated, curious project team working well together will reduce the project time.

welcomewiki 04-23-2009 08:25 PM

Ask other companies. To ascertain the proposed time frame is within the norm, ask other companies how long it took them to implement mySAP HR. Choose a company that is close in size, having implemented the same modules. Ask them if they were satisfied with their consulting firm and if the project time frame was respected. This is an excellent indicator of how much time is involved and will further allow you to select a partner.


Prepare a precise Project plan. Preparing the project plan is a task carried out by the Project manager(s). Whichever tool or software he or she might choose to use, the following information should be included: A list of all the tasks, a deadline for each of the tasks (milestones), person(s) responsible for the task, control phases and a weekly and daily Meeting Schedule - when, who, where and purpose?. There should be active participation from IT and HR/Payroll/Benefits user departments in the scooping of the project, the project formation phase, issue resolution and definition of critical success factors. This project plan has to be distributed to all project team members and daily meetings need to take place to ensure everybody knows what areas they are supposed to be working on and Project managers can monitor the progress. These meetings are essential as well to identify problem areas and take immediate corrective action.


Adopt an effective Issue resolution method. When issues are identified - and there will be issues every day - these need to be logged on a central database, accessible for all the project team members. Issues should be logged with the date, the person responsible; system area affected and proposed solution. Project Managers need to stress that team members must log all issues centrally and view the database on a daily basis, emphasizing the importance of mutual support: to solve an issue. Project team members often need to work together and are dependent on the completion of someone else's work. Project leaders must also ensure that the issue database is updated with the implemented solutions for future reference. Choosing the right project manager and having an effective issue handling procedure will save a great deal of time.


Choosing and understanding a methodology. Whether an organization decides to choose SAP's own methodology, ASAP (Accelerated SAP), or a different method, possibly a combination of the two, this methodology needs to be concise, understood and well communicated. Companies having more experience with mySAP HR tend to adopt their own methodology, many consulting firms also have their own methodology and there is no right or wrong solution as to which one should be adopted. What is essential though, is that the methodology should contain a precise project plan, standards, templates and guidelines for documentation, quality assurance procedures and a support model. SAP's own methodology, ASAP, was designed to support the rapid and efficient implementation of the R/3 system. This approach uses different tools and accelerators via the Implementation Assistant tool. The Implementation Assistant contains a road map containing the different steps within the implementation (Project preparation, Business blueprint, Realization, Final preparation, Go-live & support), Implementation accelerators (e.g. authorizations made easy), a Question and Answer database helping to define the project scope, an open issue database and Business Process Procedures examples.


Creating a "favorable" project environment facilitating communication and team working. Prior to project launch, before project team members arrive, the office environment has to be set up - this might seem like an evident thing to do but all too often, time is lost because team members have to constantly move from one room to the next, not having a designated room, printers and phones are not set up properly and there is a shortage of Pc's or laptops for all team members. The project team should all sit together in one room; every person should have a PC and access to a phone and a printer. It is vital that project team members can communicate directly with each other in order to solve problems quickly and to ensure effective teamwork.

welcomewiki 04-23-2009 08:25 PM

Extensive Training Required


'MySAP HR requires long training which takes time and costs money'…. this is another apprehension often expressed by HR and Payroll Managers. While it is true, that mySAP HR does require thorough training, this training period can be reduced to a great extent.


On-going training versus after go-live training. Rather than waiting until the end of the project, training should be carried out continuously throughout the implementation. It is the responsibility of the consultants to carry out on-going knowledge transfer and to make sure that the project team members are fully trained in their areas. This seems to be obvious, but situations where client team members have very little involvement in the actual configuration of the system should be avoided by all means. This leads to an over dependence on the consultants - the organization's objective must be to be almost self sufficient shortly after go-live. It is again the responsibility of the Project Manager to ensure that on-going knowledge transfer takes place.


Have client project team members train the users. To reduce costs and save time, end users can be trained by the project team members. With the new mySAP HR system in place, the roles, processes and jobs will be different. During the implementation, project team members should spend some time with the end users, training them how to use the system so that they can get gradually used it until go-live. The testing phase provides an excellent opportunity to involve end users - they can help the project team identify problem areas and learn how to use the system at the same time.


Have training sessions prior to project launch. Another option to reduce training costs and time is to prepare the users prior to the project launch by organizing workshops and training sessions. These workshops have a number of advantages: project team members can start being productive from day one, being familiar with the software, end users can be given access to a 'sandbox' client and start 'playing' with the system.

welcomewiki 04-23-2009 08:26 PM

MySAP HR Is Not A "Quick" Solution


Small and mid-sized organizations often fear the fact that mySAP HR is not a "quick fix"" but a long term investment which they are not prepared for. This is true. But, on the other hand, management needs to look at the overall picture and corporate objectives. They need to evaluate if a simple HR and/or Payroll package guarantees that the organization remains fit in today's market place where effective Human Resources in general become more and more critical.


MySAP HR is a long-term solution. In today's economy, employee retention has become a serious issue. HR Professionals need to find the best talent and then manage employees who have become more and more demanding. Being able to provide accurate, on-time paychecks is just one of many challenges HR have to face. MySAP HR meets those challenges offering an integrated solution that provides standard currency, regulatory, payroll, benefits, and time-management capabilities for any type of organization. SAP's HR solution supports integration with comprehensive analysis tools, and provides a complete picture of the organization and the market environment in which it operates.



It also allows maximizing the use of the Internet to enable collaboration and shared decision-making between employees and HR managers, which saves both time and money. So rather than adopting a quick solution, that will most likely be out-of date in the future, Decision-makers need to evaluate the benefits they could gain by implementing a system that provides enormous breadth of functionality, supporting everything from basic administrative payroll and benefits functions to leading-edge personnel development and compensation programs.


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